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Monday, March 7, 2011

Fruit and Honey Bars

Granola bars are a great snack or breakfast to grab as we run out the door late to work or an event. However, these store bought bars we "think" of as a healthy option are usually far from it. Many brands are extremely high in calories, contain tons of sugar and have so many additives. Look at the label next time you are in a grocery store and you will not know what half of the ingredients are.

As we all make changes to reduce our processed food consumption, I thought I would share this great recipe for homemade granola bars. I made it this past weekend, it was super easy and they are delicious. No more store bought granola bars for us, this new recipe will be a staple in our house!!

1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup old fashion rolled oats
1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup each- unsalted pumpkin seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, dried cherries, dried apricots (chopped), ground flax seed
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line 9" square baking pan with nonstick foil
  3. Beat honey, eggs and salt with a fork in a small bowl until blended.
  4. Put oats, dry milk, pumpkin seeds, coconut, flax seeds, apricots, cherries and flour in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  5. Add honey mixture to food processor and pulse until mixture is evenly moistened
  6. Transfer dough to baking pan, press into even layer with dampened fingers.
  7. Bake until center is set and edges are browned, about 20 mins.
  8. Let cool slightly on rack, 10 minutes. Holding foil transfer bar from pan to cutting board.
  9. Cut into 20 (1.5") bars. Let cool completely and peel off foil.

**I am not a fan of coconut so I replaced this ingredient with 2TB of toasted wheat germ. Feel free to substitute any ingredients to your liking.

**Also after 10 minutes of cooling, once bars were cut I spread evenly with 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. You can leave them as is, or once they warm up you can spread the chocolate.

***To make iced cranberry bars substitute 1/2cup dried cranberries for the dried cherries. And once bars are cooled make icing (whisk 3/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar, pinch cloves, and 3-4 tsp milk until smooth). Drizzle over bars.

Per serving (1 bar) 118 calories, 5g total fat, 16g total carbs, 10g sugar, 2g fiber, 4g protein.

Weight Watchers March/April 2011 magazine

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